America Can’t Afford to Descend Into Violence

Kenosha memorial site

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When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal soar through the mud in the hills that surround my Maryland home. The other day I went outside barefoot to fetch one of my child’s shoes and a piece of pottery stabbed my heel. I had a small infection and was wondering how long ago this fragment was.

A neighbor of mine found out what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion cap gun in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the Battle of Monocacy in July 1864 was fought for these reasons, and 1,300 Union troops and 900 Confederate troops were killed or wounded here. The stuff that pops up in my fields when it storms may or may not be combat artifacts, but it reminds me that the past lingers and modern America was born into a civil war.

Increasingly, I can’t help but think about possible new civil wars in this country and the violence we could inflict on one another. Recently a family member re-posted a YouTube video on their Facebook page allegedly showing an anti-fascist who accidentally set himself on fire (with the mocking 1980s hit “Footloose” in the background). “I’ll just leave this here,” she read her caption. Shortly afterwards, she claimed that the “YouTube voice police” had turned it off.

I thought of telling her something about how people in countries I worked in without democracy celebrate the misery of their opponents. Was that really, I wanted to ask, what kind of country would they like our children to see us made? But I have decided not to divide our family, which has grown apart since Donald Trump took office. Besides, I knew it wouldn’t do any of us to confront her. Inspired by a President who is an excellent example of never self-monitoring what you are doing, she would have simply dismissed my comments as the frivolous words of the “politically correct”.

war and peace

Nowadays, when I watch the news and see clashes between the police, Black Lives Matter protesters, far-right “militias” and anti-fascist supporters, I am often reminded that this is not the case just because no one has declared a civil war That is, we are not staring at the prerequisites for armed conflict.

Our military service members and their families have worked for endless years in Afghanistan, Iraq and so many other countries in the Middle East and Africa under the guise of building democracy and waging a “war on terror.” You did this in accordance with more than 7,000 of their own life, a million Hundreds of thousands of their own injuries and illnesses civil deaths in these distant lands and significantly more than $ 6 trillion in funding from the American taxpayer. In such circumstances, it is not surprising that they now live in a country lacking in resources and broken in a way that is just beginning to resemble, at least modestly, the war zones in which they fought.



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